Weekly Devotion – Genesis 48:19-20
Published 10:37 am Saturday, July 20, 2019
By Mike Caton
Genesis 48:19-20 – But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He too will become a people, and he too will become great. Nevertheless, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his descendants will become a group of nations.” He blessed them that day and said, “In your name will Israel pronounce this blessing: ‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’” So he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.
Joseph tries to straighten Jacob’ hands out, he has put his right hand on Ephraim’s, the youngest, head. Joseph was not happy about this, Manasseh was the oldest, the first born, the first sign on Joseph’s strength, and he should be getting the firstborn’s blessing. But Jacob knew what he was doing and he knew better than Joseph.
Jacob said, and God must have revealed it to him, that Manasseh would be blessed, that he would have many descendants. But Ephraim would be blessed too and that his descendants would be even more numerous. Jacob said that Ephraim would be greater than Manasseh. How would he know this, unless God had revealed it to him? We are not told of any vision that he received about this, but certainly we are not told of everything that happened to these folks. We are not even told about everything that happened that we might be interested in.
And that is where faith comes in. We have to trust God when we don’t have all the answers. Faith is not a blind leap, as it is so often described. Maybe it is more of a calculated risk. We examine the evidence, we see how God has worked in the past, we see the evidence that is all around us, we trust our experiences, and we believe that God is and that he will continue to work in our lives. There are plenty of evidences for God’s existence, creation for example. And we can see how God has worked in the lives of so many people, others as well as ourselves. And so we trust, we believe, we have faith that God will continue to act as he has. And yet, as much hope, trust, or faith as we have, we still cannot have 100% assurance that God will do what he has done in the past. We simply learn to trust him, to take him at his word, to realize that his ways are higher than ours. Paul would later say, we walk by faith and not by sight.
Father, help me always to trust in you. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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